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Thread: LA Times

  1. #1

    LA Times

    Ok guys, this is the questions that have been posed to me by John Balzar. I am going to let you guys answer them, this way it is a bit more authentic than coming from the admin of a Linux site.

    Dear Josh:
    Company policy says I can accept no gifts of value. But I can test drive things. And you have piqued my interest.
    My Microsoft column got scads of reaction from like-minded readers. I think many of us are in the same boat. We know there are alternatives, but we aren't tech-minded enough to trust ourselves. Is it possible for people like us to liberate ourselves?
    I would be willing, with a little help, to experiment...for a possible column on ``breaking the habit.'' But you are dealing with a writer, not someone who understands or wants to understand the workings of my computer. The link you sent referred to business applications and I cannot ask the whole company to join in such an experiment. What about just one person who wants the choice to choose?
    I have 2 computers, both with Windows and related MS Office programs. One belongs to the LATimes the other to me. I don't think I can tamper with the company machine. But I'd give it a go with mine. However, my questions are so rudimentary that I hardly know where to start.
    Do you have a primer on the subject?
    If my operating system is Linux can I use Outlook and Word? Or do I have to buy a new suite of programs? If Outlook and Word were pre-loaded, do I have to erase them to install Linux?
    How much does Mandranke 8.0 cost?
    Are there advantages beyond reliability (not to say that reliability is a small thing)?
    You see, you are dealing with a real novice.
    If this doesn't get too complicated, it might make a good column. On the other hand, if it I'm likely to get bogged down, it may make a column to scare people. I'll leave it to you whether to proceed. But, again, anything I would use beyond the column I'd have to pay for, OK?
    Sincerely/John Balzar
    Ok, post your answers here and I'll respond to his email.

    If you give a man a fire he'll be warm, if you light the man on fire he'll be warm for life.

  2. #2

    Re: LA Times

    Better ask him what kind of hardware he intends to try it on, so you can be sure it is supported.

    If he is going to try mandrake I would give him these links to the mandrake docs to read: users guide reference guide

    I don't know whether Outlook or Word will run under wine or not. Might give him the link for VMware express:

    This would allow him to run Win9x under Linux, but you need VMware workstation for run WinNT or Win 2000. There is a trial version of Workstation. Epress is the inexpensive version of course.

    Mandrake won't cost him anything if he wants to download it. ;D

    As for advantages, hmmm
    Stable, fast, virus free
    runs on alot of different hardware, don't need brand new hardware to run it
    opensource: you can modify the source code if you need too
    cost: if you do buy one copy you can install it on as many computers as you want
    secure: when a security problem is found, a patch is usually available right away
    choice: not stuck with one GUI or program

    Alright guys here's a few lets see some more reasons.

  3. #3

    Re: LA Times

    A dual boot system is very easy to install with Mandrake 8.0 but I'd suggest he experiment with a dedicated PC. Ask one of the Techs in the the LA Times' IT department (help desk) for an older PC (P2 233Mhz w/64MB RAM) that could be used as a test PC and would have plenty of processing power. Most large companies will have a small supply of PC's that are waiting for a better home (I call it the scratch and dent section). The support for older PC technolgy is very well documented and fixes are readily available. If you mention to the Tech that you are putting Linux on the box you may get a free installation and more advice than you will ever need.

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